Former Middle School goaltender and future Syosset High star had a successful run at last month’s National Lacrosse Classic in Boyds, Maryland, leading Team Long Island towards a championship.
The team, comprised of 25 Long Islanders (and only one other goalie), topped Pennsylvania, 8-6, in the championship game.
Ochs, who will enter next year, was coached by Yale assistant coach Graham Niemi. On top of being offensive coordinator at a major Ivy League school, Niemi has had international lacrosse success, as he was the head coach of the Finnish National Team during the 2008 European Championships.
Team Long Island was comprised of players from Garden City, Manhasset, Oyster Bay, Massapequa, Rocky Point, Patchogue, Medford, Half Hollow Hills, Hauppauge, Huntington, Deer Park and Mount Sinai.
The team failed to drop a game in the 12-team tournament, defeating Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, Rochester, and New Jersey in round-robin play. For Ochs, winning a championship was only a small part of the experience.
“The best part of the camp was getting to meet lacrosse players from all over the country and talking about what lacrosse is like where they live,” Ochs said.
That’s not to say winning a national championship wasn’t a big thrill.
“Winning the national title and hearing them say ‘Long Island - National Champions’ was crazy,” Ochs said.
While the main part of the weekend in Boyds was the tournament, there was another layer to it. Players attended seminars hosted by sports psychologists, nutritionists, physical fitness experts, and college recruiting experts, learning about how to successfully continue their budding lacrosse careers.
As a player on the rise, Ochs found the camp helpful in his development.
“The college coaches talked a lot about playing more sports, not just lacrosse, and about making sure we had fun playing whatever sport we were playing,” Ochs said.
Ochs intends to play on the Braves JV team in the spring. Behind on the Braves depth chart, Ochs will be given the chance to fully develop within the program.
“Everybody talked about how lacrosse was for fun and school had to be the most important thing," Ochs said. "I think that this will help me next season because of the confidence I got playing with and against great players and knowing I can play with them.”